Anxious, probably. Afraid, not. Why would I be. He has told me in Isaiah 8:12 not to be.

However, Covid19 brought us as a family to the edge of despair. There was nothing in our training or experience that had prepared us for the anxiety that we felt and experienced in the past week. Having a daughter, thousands of miles away from us, with no immediate support network in the midst of a global pandemic was nothing that classroom or life education could prepare anyone for.

She had left home, filled with a spirit of adventure. She wanted to see the world, on her own terms…alone. We supported that decision, after all, one cant tie them to one’s apron strings forever. Yet, when it was time to say our goodbyes, my eyes welled up with tears. I just couldn’t let go. All I wanted was for her to run back to my waiting arms but she didn’t. Determined, steadfast, she went through customs and was gone. From Sydney to New Castle, LA to San Diego, I was following her sojourns, her travails and her moments of excitement. It was like Whatsapp Video was made for only fathers like me. I wonder what pains would have inhabit my heart without this app provided free by the Facebook team.

Then the world changed. It was in Wuhan that the news broke out about the Corona Virus. Well, many did think it was a Chinese invention and won’t last. Then Italy succumbomed and the news started filtering into Australia. The US was not spared. How do I get my baby to safety, somewhere she can weather out the storm. Cousins in Houston were quick to open up their homes to her. She would fly and hibernate there until normalcy returns to the world, as we knew it. Some semblance of peace returned to our frayed heart.

First San Diego closed its campus and then a recall of all foreign exchange students was sent by her school in Australia. Get my daughter here, my wife said with emphasis, Australia is closing its borders. Returning home is now the only prudent thing to do, no one knows how long this will last. Stuck in the US, as an alien, means that if she were to have a medical emergency she would be treated only after the Americans have been attended to. That is, only even, if there is surplus medical capacity which is a luxury in the face of Covid19 America.

That was when all the lines went dead. #Qantas was unreachable to reschedule her flight, the Travel Insurer was unhelpful, my heart started to race as my brain was thinking out what the best alternative was. A late minute travel ticket was bought and then came the concern on what to do with her car. Calls were made to friends and through them help was provided.

She hurried out of California, just 2hrs before the state started enforcing its movement restriction, will she be allowed into Australia? After a journey that took her South Westward across the Pacific and then North Westward, we were so glad to receive her in Perth.

She has been through a lot and so had we. But, we can’t hug her. I wanted to pick her up and carry her in the air but I couldn’t, the fear of COVID19 was real. Getting home, she started her mandatory 14 days confinement, what a bore this is. The days are passing slowly and we are counting them off our fingers.

Just like the world, we are hoping that normalcy returns, even though in a different form. To OOLU, DDGB and Tony, thanks for your support. You did so great to make me feel like a super dad, with tentacles everywhere. DABE, thanks for your calls and concern.